Why We Race Part 2

Several weeks ago, I posted Part 1 of Why Do We Race? I emailed a wide-ranging group of blogging buddies and sent out a general bulletin on the Endurance Athlete Project asking some simple questions:

Why do you race?

Why are you willing to pay to run on public streets or trails, sometimes paying large amounts for travel and accommodations?

Why are you willing to plan a race around a particular weekend?

What ARE your motivators to race?

As mentioned, I received a variety of responses and wanted to start sharing them with you. In order of receipt, here is the first group:
Tom Mueller, Master Competitor: “Predominant reason for me is retaining ultra identity and running the distance…I’m too burned out to do 20+ mile training runs…if not for 50K’s I’d never go that far…and FYI, I really don’t travel far to race…just events I can drive to…I’ll get up at 3 am, drive 3-4 hours  to event, run, and be home by early evening. Keeps expense and time away from home at minimum.”

Patrick Mahoney, The Road Multisport: “I race because on those days I always go a little bit harder and faster.  I also like to test my mettle against others.  I also like the excitement and spectacle to be honest, and talking to the people around me in transition or in the corral.”

Bob Shuler, One Hour Ironman: “I need an organized race (only one per year is necessary) to motivate the training juices. It is kind of funny that with training averages of less than one hour per day that the end goal (race) is an Ironman. Minimal training for the pinnacle of end results, one might say. But the whole intention is to stay fit, keep the weight off and this program seems to work for now. If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it, so I’m sticking to the OneHourIronmen program to maximize personal time management with family, career and iron distance racing.”

Glenn Jones, The Running Fat Guy :”Hmm. This might get long…..I break races into two categories. Let’s talk first about road racing. I race those primarily for the social aspects. I usually will either attend or organize a pre-race dinner. Then, I always roam the morning of just to find friends/acquaintances and say hi. Also, being here in Southern California, there is *always* a race somewhere. I *might* drive down to San Diego. I don’t think I would ever pay for a plane ticket to travel anywhere more than an hour away. I did fly to San Francisco for the SF Marathon, but plane tickets were purchased with miles and I stayed at my nephew’s place. Road races are *not* what I live life for. The second category ware the trail races. I have a special place in my heart for the outdoors (away from the city) and especially, the high country of the Rockies or Sierra Nevada. I do trail races mainly for the physical challenges: hills, altitude, weather, long time on feet, etc. Anything to be in the mountains. Where most runners strive for a BQ, my wish list item is the Western States.” 

Chris Korn, BQ or Die (for now): “My life just works better when I am working on a goal.  I love to set race goals that then support me in leading the lifestyle I want.  I don’t have enough self discipline so I need an external force to help.  For me, those are races.   Whenever I have a race on the horizon I train more, eat better, and drink less.  That’s just how I roll. Races are also milestones, “stakes in the ground”, to shoot for.   I feel like I’m a ship-without-a-keel unless I have something tangible on the schedule. I also like the competitive nature of racing.   I always shoot for the the Top 20% in my age group.  I work hard to achieve it and like it when I do.I also think that races are fun.  I like the pageantry of them….the crowds, the energy, the finish line.”

Jon Campbell, SwiCycloRun: “Its pretty simple with me: To know that I am feeling better about myself today than I did yesterday and I will feel even better about myself tomorrow.”

Stay tuned for more responses. Hoping to post these once a week or so. If you never responded, feel free to shoot me an email at lakotega@yahoo.com to get involved!

10 thoughts on “Why We Race Part 2

  1. Wow, some very varied replies, great post, I am really enjoying these! It's especially interesting when it's a surprise, something you didn't expect to hear from a person.

  2. This is a great segment. And fun to read. Glad you are posting these weekly so we can see all the varied responses to why race. Great job KP. This is awesome.

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